The Cobra Records Story

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
If the 50 tracks on this double-CD box sound an awful lot like they could have come off of any of MCA's various Chess boxes -- but especially the Willie Dixon volume -- it's no accident. Cobra Records was an upstart Chicago-based label that existed for a little over three years at the end of the 1950s, founded by Eli Toscano and Willie Dixon as competition for Phil and Leonard Chess's Chess Records, where Dixon had worked -- and been regularly cheated of fees and royalties -- since the end of the 1940s. His answer was to leave the employ of the Chess brothers and go to work with Toscano, and the result was an almost "shadow" Chess label, jump-started by the likes of Otis ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
If the 50 tracks on this double-CD box sound an awful lot like they could have come off of any of MCA's various Chess boxes -- but especially the Willie Dixon volume -- it's no accident. Cobra Records was an upstart Chicago-based label that existed for a little over three years at the end of the 1950s, founded by Eli Toscano and Willie Dixon as competition for Phil and Leonard Chess's Chess Records, where Dixon had worked -- and been regularly cheated of fees and royalties -- since the end of the 1940s. His answer was to leave the employ of the Chess brothers and go to work with Toscano, and the result was an almost "shadow" Chess label, jump-started by the likes of Otis Rush "I Can't Quit You Baby", Buddy Guy, and Magic Sam, and filled out with Sunnyland Slim, Shakey Horton, Betty Everett, and Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm. They're all here, along with lesser known performers such as Louis Myers & the Aces, the Clouds, and Little Willie Foster, and there's not one cut on this set that's less than a first-rate, pounding, driving piece of electric Chicago blues. The sound ranges from very good to excellent, the guitars and vocals right in your face and the annotation in the accompanying booklet extremely thorough, so you know exactly which bandmember is impressing you at any given moment -- and Dixon played in and led most of the bands represented, so most of what's here is, in effect, expressions of the Chess Records sound in everything but name. And amid the contemporary Chicago blues, the producers have even managed to find room for one smooth, stomping piece of rock & roll, the Clouds' "Rock and Roll Boogie," which almost sounds like a throwback to '40s-style jump blues. It's all worth hearing, and is the perfect acquisition for anyone who feels like they've run through the totality of MCA's Chess reissues.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/26/1994
  • Label: Capricorn / Umgd
  • UPC: 789394201223
  • Catalog Number: 942012

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Can't Quit You Baby - Otis Rush (3:46)
  2. 2 Just Wailin' (2:43)
  3. 3 I Can't Quit You Baby - Otis Rush (3:47)
  4. 4 Sit Down Baby - Otis Rush (1:45)
  5. 5 I Can't Quit You Baby - Otis Rush (2:56)
  6. 6 Rock & Roll Boogie - Clouds (2:31)
  7. 7 Need My Baby - Big Walter Horton (2:15)
  8. 8 Have a Good Time - Walter "Shakey" Horton (2:17)
  9. 9 My Love Will Never Die - Otis Rush (3:49)
  10. 10 Violent Love - Otis Rush (2:29)
  11. 11 Highway 61 - Sunnyland Slim (3:01)
  12. 12 It's You Baby - Sunnyland Slim (2:20)
  13. 13 Groaning the Blues - Otis Rush (3:02)
  14. 14 If You Were Mine - Otis Rush (3:04)
  15. 15 Crying the Blues - Little Willie Foster (2:42)
  16. 16 Little Girl - Little Willie Foster (2:33)
  17. 17 I Don't Care Who Knows - Harold Burrage (2:25)
  18. 18 All Your Love - Magic Sam (2:54)
  19. 19 Love Me With a Feeling - Magic Sam (2:07)
  20. 20 Love That Woman - Otis Rush (2:59)
  21. 21 Jump Sister Bessie - Otis Rush (2:33)
  22. 22 Satisfied - Harold Burrage (2:50)
  23. 23 My Love - Betty Everett (2:50)
  24. 24 Shake It (2:25)
  25. 25 Look Whatcha Done - Magic Sam (2:11)
  26. 26 Everything Gonna Be Alright - Magic Sam (2:53)
  27. 27 Eli Toscano Blues - Sunnyland Slim (1:43)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Three Times a Fool - Willie Dixon Band (2:48)
  2. 2 She's a Good 'Un - Willie Dixon Band (2:48)
  3. 3 Ain't Gonna Cry - Betty Everett (1:59)
  4. 4 All Night Long - Magic Sam (2:48)
  5. 5 I Cry for You - Harold Burrage (2:30)
  6. 6 All My Whole Life - Magic Sam (2:12)
  7. 7 It Takes Time - Otis Rush (2:48)
  8. 8 Checking on My Baby - Otis Rush (2:54)
  9. 9 Row Your Boat - Willie Dixon Band (3:13)
  10. 10 Sit and Cry (The Blues) (2:36)
  11. 11 Try to Quit You Baby (2:36)
  12. 12 Easy Baby - Magic Sam (3:33)
  13. 13 21 Days in Jail - Magic Sam (2:42)
  14. 14 Call Me If You Need Me - Willie Dixon Band (3:02)
  15. 15 Roll Your Moneymaker - Willie Dixon Band (2:44)
  16. 16 Double Trouble - Otis Rush (2:42)
  17. 17 Keep on Loving Me Baby - Otis Rush (2:30)
  18. 18 This Is the End (2:56)
  19. 19 You Sure Can't Do (2:37)
  20. 20 All Your Love (I Miss Loving) - Otis Rush (2:36)
  21. 21 My Baby's a Good 'Un - Otis Rush (2:39)
  22. 22 Matchbox - Tommy Hodge (2:24)
  23. 23 You've Got to Lose - Ike Turner (2:18)
  24. 24 Box Top - Carlson Oliver (1:55)
  25. 25 You Keep on Worrying Me - Ike Turner (2:24)
  26. 26 (I Know) You Don't Love Me - Tommy Hodge (2:10)
  27. 27 Down and Out - Tommy Hodge (3:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Willie Dixon Bass, Track Performer
Henry Gray Piano
Buddy Guy Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Big Walter Horton Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Floyd Jones Guitar
Little Walter Harmonica
Little Brother Montgomery Piano
Louis Myers Harmonica, Track Performer
Red Holloway Saxophone
Harold Ashby Saxophone
Harold Burrage Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Betty Everett Track Performer
Jody Williams Guitar
Fred Below Drums
Wayne Bennett Guitar
Reggie Boyd Guitar
Jackie Brenston Saxophone, Track Performer
Odell Campbell Electric Bass
Charles Clark Track Performer
Al Duncan Drums
McKinley Easton Saxophone
Billy Gayles Drums
Shakey Jake Harris Track Performer
Ike Turner Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Syl Johnson Guitar
Lafayette Leake Piano
S.P. Leary Drums
Abe Locke Saxophone
Eugene Lounge Drums
Magic Sam Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Odie Payne Jr. Drums
Carlson Oliver Saxophone, Vocals, Track Performer
Jimmy Rogers Guitar
Otis Rush Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Raymond Scott Drums
Sunnyland Slim Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Billy Stepney Drums
Bob Stroger Guitar
Mack Thompson Electric Bass
Lucius Washington Saxophone
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Harmonica
Bob Woodfork Guitar
Tommy Hodge Vocals, Track Performer
Little Willie Foster Harmonica, Vocals
Eddie Jones Saxophone
Willie Dixon Band Track Performer
Ray Scott Drums
Bob Levers Guitar
Fred Sample Piano
Bob Strogher Guitar
Bill Lucas Piano
Abb Locke Saxophone
Dave Myers Guitar
Jimmy Thomas Vocals
Jesse Lewis Green Drums
Clouds Track Performer
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Composer
Buddy Guy Composer, Liner Notes
Malcolm Chisolm Liner Notes
Ike Turner Composer
Otis Rush Liner Notes
Bruce Swedien Liner Notes
Mighty Joe Young Liner Notes
Diana Haig Producer, Liner Notes
Don Snowden Liner Notes
Eddie Jones Composer
Janet Levinson Art Direction
Andy Engel Artwork
Mark Pucci Special Projects Coordinator
L.P. Weaver Composer
Howard Bedno Liner Notes
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